Hailey Hopkins + The Story Behind

Today we are so happy to have Hailey on the blog for our The Story Behind series. We spotted her cool photo with a sweet vintage vibe to it in our IG tag. We love the light she captured as well as the artistic crop she created. An extra bonus was those sweet little faces going for a cruise! So let’s welcome Hailey and learn more about how this image came to be.

IG Handle:.

When did you discover your passion as a photographer?
I really fell in love with photography after having my son 6 years ago. I wanted to freeze every single milestone of his life and loved capturing the real, everyday moments. As time went on, I turned my hobby into a career and I have that same passion with every session and wedding I photograph; to capture those real moments in raw form.

What inspires your art?
So many things inspire me and my art. Other artists, people in general, everyday moments in life. You can truly find beauty in anything you see and if you feel something when you look at an actual image, then that alone inspires me to create more.

Where is your favorite place to create/photograph?
Photographers are all light chasers so anywhere that has that yummy light!

Tell us about your creative process.
My creative process for a session is a bit different than my creative process for personal work. This was a personal shoot and it happened sort of spur of the moment. I had an idea in my head and I always try to find the “good” light. I usually like to place the sun in the corner of my image and I always try to shoot with intention. I always underexpose a few stops to save the sky in my photos. I LOVE editing, too so bringing them to life in Lightroom and then Photoshop is so fun. I love adding contrast, making colors pop and adding warmth. I’d say I love editing more than actually taking the photo on the camera.

Where was this photo taken?
This was taken in my in-laws neighborhood in Apple Valley, CA.

DSLR, iphone, instant or film?
DSLR | Canon EOS 5D Mark iv | Sigma 35mm lens

What were your camera settings for this image?
1/320 at f/2.2 and ISO 160

Can you tell us “The Story Behind” this shot?
My family and I were visiting my in-laws this Summer and each time we visit my kids love to sit in my father-in-law’s beloved 1972 Ford Bronco. We usually just pretend like we are driving it while it sits in the garage but this trip we were able to take it for a spin. My husband will eventually inherit this and it’s super special to his family. Long story short, we had just come back from taking photos of my kids out in the desert so I had my camera handy and thought it was a perfect opportunity to snap some quick shots of my husband driving my 2 oldest kiddos around the neighborhood. The sun was just going down and I hopped out and told my husband to just drive slowly by me. I literally took about 10 photos and called it good, hopped back in and we drove back to the house. It was quick but everything worked out perfectly!

What speaks to you about this image? What specifically made you press the shutter?
There are so many things I love about this image. My daughter looks so at peace, my son was having a blast, my husband (who doesn’t show much emotion) was clearly in a happy state and the warmth outside gave me a summer feeling. It just felt good, you know? Cruising the street in a cool car with the windows down and a warm breeze. Can life get any better?

What was your composition technique with this shot?
I knew I wanted to focus on my kids more than anything because they were loving it. I also wanted to make sure I got a good chunk of the car in the shot and I love that you can read “Bronco” in the lower right corner. I also didn’t want too much of the street in the shot to keep the focus on the car and the happiness inside it.

Did you have any lighting challenges/How did you light the image?
The lighting was honestly perfect for this shot. It was a beautiful sunset and I took this just as the sun was going down behind the houses and mountains behind them.

Did you use any special techniques – freelensing, prism, etc?
No special techniques, just shot at my favorite f stop of 2.2 and I added a little grain in post-processing to give it more of a vintage vibe.

Was this photo happenstance or did you visualize it prior? If so, how did you envision the image and set up for it?
I didn’t really have a vision besides that I wanted it in the moment. Very casual and natural. I just wanted to capture a nice drive in a special vehicle with special people inside.

Did you use a preset to edit this image, your own selective edits or a combination of both?
I used a preset from Tricia Victoria’s Poet pack. I tweaked it pretty heavily but it was a great starting point!

Do you have any addition information you would like to share with our readers?
I guess something that is unique to this is the fact that I’ve NEVER been into cars or trucks. I have never cared about the old classic cars. I’ve always just wanted to drive something comfortable and reliable. Now that I’ve seen how special this Bronco is to my father-in-law and to my husband, I have such a soft spot for it. It’s truly beautiful and really cool to think that my father-in-law has an almost 50 year old car in perfect condition. I also just had to ask my husband if you call a Bronco a car or a truck HAHA! I’ve been calling it a car and he said he’d call it a truck. Oops!

Continue to follow more of Hailey’s beautiful work at the links below:

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